Connect public, paid and private patent data with Google Patents Public Datasets

Automated videocassette dispensing terminal with reservation feature

Download PDF

Info

Publication number
US5095195A
US5095195A US07293972 US29397289A US5095195A US 5095195 A US5095195 A US 5095195A US 07293972 US07293972 US 07293972 US 29397289 A US29397289 A US 29397289A US 5095195 A US5095195 A US 5095195A
Authority
US
Grant status
Grant
Patent type
Prior art keywords
store
videocassette
terminal
rental
computer
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Expired - Fee Related
Application number
US07293972
Inventor
Robert R. Harman
Bruce C. Joslyn
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
THRU-THE WALL Corp
Thru Wall Corp
Original Assignee
Thru Wall Corp
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Grant date

Links

Images

Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07FCOIN-FREED OR LIKE APPARATUS
    • G07F7/00Mechanisms actuated by objects other than coins to free or to actuate vending, hiring, coin or paper currency dispensing or refunding apparatus
    • G07F7/06Mechanisms actuated by objects other than coins to free or to actuate vending, hiring, coin or paper currency dispensing or refunding apparatus by returnable containers, i.e. reverse vending systems in which a user is rewarded for returning a container that serves as a token of value, e.g. bottles
    • G07F7/069Mechanisms actuated by objects other than coins to free or to actuate vending, hiring, coin or paper currency dispensing or refunding apparatus by returnable containers, i.e. reverse vending systems in which a user is rewarded for returning a container that serves as a token of value, e.g. bottles by box-like containers, e.g. videocassettes, books
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q10/00Administration; Management
    • G06Q10/02Reservations, e.g. for tickets, services or events

Abstract

A system for renting pre-recorded videocassettes in which an automatic videocassette dispensing terminal communicates with and becomes part of a store's computerized videocassette rental system. The store's computer receives and compiles information relating to customer rentals from both the automatic videocassette dispensing terminal and the manned point-of-sale terminals in the store. The automatic videocassette dispensing terminal projects through an exterior wall of the video store to provide 24-hour operation. Videocassettes can be reserved and held in the terminal for pick-up by the customer after hours.

Description

RELATED APPLICATION

This application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 227,618, filed Aug. 3, 1988 now U.S. Pat. No. 5,013,897.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to a computerized video rental system which includes not only point-of-sale terminals, but also a videocassette dispensing terminal. More specifically, the invention relates to such a system with a videocassette reservation feature.

2. Description of the Related Art

The rental of videocassettes is becoming increasingly popular as more and more individuals and families acquire videocassette recorders. Typically, an individual seeking to rent cassettes purchases, or is assigned at no charge, a membership at a particular rental store or chain of rental stores. Membership establishes that the store is willing to loan valuable pre-recorded videocassettes to a person who will be responsible for returning the pre-recorded videocassette within or close to the rental period. Once such a membership has been obtained, the individual is free to browse through the collection of available pre-recorded videocassettes on display at the store, and choose from among the available cassettes for overnight rental at a prescribed rental rate. Ordinarily, the individual will take the empty jackets of the desired cassettes to the rental counter and the store clerk will retrieve the corresponding cassettes, if available. Alternatively, "live merchandise" (pre-recorded videocassettes left in their protective jackets) is displayed on the store's shelving and secured by a system of stickers and doorway detectors, in which case the customer hands the desired cassettes to the store clerk. In either case, in order to register the rental transaction, the store clerk proceeds to enter both the individual's membership number and the cassettes being rented into the store's videocassette rental system. Such rental systems, whether manual or computerized, must minimally keep track of:

(1) the customer who made the rental;

(2) the title rented (and preferably the copy number of that title);

(3) when the rental occurred; and

(4) when the videocassette was due back and when it was actually returned.

The rental store must keep track of the above information so that the proper rental fee can be calculated (either manually or automatically) when the cassette is returned (even if the fee is paid in advance). Moreover, it is important for the rental store to maintain accurate inventory, not only of which cassettes remain in stock, but of cassettes which have been renting most often so that additional copies of frequently requested titles can be purchased to ensure an adequate supply, and so that slow renting titles can be sold while they still have value.

In recent years, most video store rental systems have become computerized. In such computerized systems, rental and return transactions are entered by the clerks through point-of-sale (POS) terminals at the store counter, each of which is coupled to the store's host computer.

Unfortunately, however, when the video store closes and the clerks leave, all rental activity must necessarily cease, and yet some customers would be very interested in obtaining a videocassette after the store has closed. Furthermore, 100% of the revenue from a tape that cannot be rented because it is locked in the store is lost profit. Thus, automated videocassette dispensing terminals, analogous to bank automatic teller machines, would be quite valuable to video rental stores.

Although automated videocassette dispensing machines (VDMs) have been built, sold and used in quantity, e.g. U.S. Pat. No. 4,668,150 to Blumberg, these units have never been made, designed or even proposed to work with a store's computerized videocassette rental system. As such, the inventory records they maintain must be merged each day with the records maintained by the store's computerized videocassette rental system, and record-keeping becomes tedious, not only because cassettes are being rented throughout each day, but because titles are constantly being added and deleted from stock as customer preferences change. Generally, because separate inventories are maintained, cassettes rented from a VDM must be returned to that VDM. Thus, the VDM must be capable of mechanically accepting, recognizing, and registering returns, as well as authorizing credit or accepting payment (whether at rental or return). If payment is not made at time of rental or return, the VDM operator must add a billing system resulting in credit authorization, clerical, financial and bad debt burdens. Moreover, whenever a new title is added, it must be separately keyed into both the store's system and the VDM. Similarly, when authorized members are added, they must be keyed into both the store's system and the VDM. VDM's must also provide physical security around the entire machine to protect their expensive contents. For all the above reasons, VDM's are inherently complex, expensive and unreliable.

The concept of providing an automated videocassette dispensing terminal conveniently located in supermarkets, convenience store, office buildings, and apartment buildings for customer use and remote from a central processing location has also been disclosed in the prior art, e.g. in U.S. Pat. No. 4,300,040 to Gould et al. In accordance with the teachings of this patent, the terminal is coupled to a central processing location via a communications link. The terminal supplies the selected videocassette directly to the customer upon acceptance of an order. Customer billing and control of inventory of videocassettes at the terminal are handled at the processing location.

While the above-described system might be preferable over stand-alone VDM's from an inventory management standpoint, the system is not integrated with a store's existing automated videocassette rental system and the corresponding POS terminals manned by clerks. Thus, again, the system must do all the functions of a video store itself, including authorizing rentals, accepting returns and maintaining inventory (which would have to be merged with the store's inventory and membership lists if cassettes are also rented by clerks). Moreover, none of the above prior art systems are configured to permit a customer to reserve a title in advance and pick up the reserved videocassette from a VDM. Thus, a considerable amount of business is lost because customers are unwilling to make frequent trips to the video store, only to find that the desired videocassette has already been rented. Also, even if the store has a VDM, customers that use the VDM to rent videocassettes after the store closes are limited to the particular titles remaining in the VDM at that time. Customers are likely to become frustrated and discontinue such after hours trips to the VDM if all desirable titles stocked in the VDM are continually rented early in the evening.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention overcomes the above-mentioned deficiencies of the prior art by providing a system in which an automated videocassette dispensing terminal becomes part of a store's automated videocassette rental system by communicating directly with the store's host computer. Thus, the present invention is essentially an add-on to the store's existing computerized rental system, needing more help from the store's host computer than, but functioning identically to, a manned POS terminal.

The system of the present invention maintains rental authorization control, inventory accounting, and rental calculations in the store's computerized videocassette rental system, while allowing 24-hour rentals through the automatic videocassette dispensing terminal. The present invention thus, for the first time, takes advantage of the existing capability of the store's host computer to store and process customer rental and inventory information from files which already are maintained routinely by trained clerks. Thus, the automated rental system of the present invention, and the automated videocassette dispensing terminal used therein, are much simpler, less expensive, and more reliable than the VDM systems described in the prior art.

Inventory accounting and rental history accounting are simplified in accordance with the present invention since only one computer (the store's host computer) compiles rental information, and no end-of-day merging is required. The system of the present invention is also advantageous from a business standpoint. Since the automated videocassette dispensing terminal must be custom designed to work with each computerized videocassette rental system, it is natural for it to also be sold, installed, and warranted by the individual manufacturers of computerized video rental systems. The automated videocassette dispensing terminal can be sold by a computerized video rental system manufacturer to a store owner either as an add-on to the store owner's existing computerized point-of-sale system (made by that same manufacturer) or in a package with a new point-of-sale system. In the former case, the store owner has the comfort of knowing that: (1) the automated terminal will fit and not damage his existing system, and (2) he can still use only one videocassette rental system and will not have to combine membership lists and inventories.

The automated videocassette dispensing terminal used in the system of the present invention can communicate with the host computer either through a local area network or by means of multi-user architecture. In the preferred embodiment of the invention, the automated terminal replaces an existing door or window of the rental store, or, if a door or window is not available, the terminal projects through the front wall of the store. The former type of installation advantageously in most cases requires no building permit and is usually not considered a leasehold improvement. The terminal is preferably hard-wired to the store's host computer. Obviously, however, the 24-hour automated terminal could be situated in any desired location, and could communicate to the store's host computer via infrared, RF, cable, telephone, fiber optics, or any other appropriate signal transmission technique.

Advantageously, the automated videocassette dispensing terminal of the present invention can be used to dispense videocassettes which have been reserved in advance by a customer. The use of an automatic videocassette dispensing terminal for reservation purposes simplifies the handling of reserved videocassettes, because once the cassette is loaded into the machine, it is never touched again by the store. The use of an automatic videocassette dispensing terminal to dispense reserved videocassettes also relieves the store's clerks from having to service those customers who arrive to pick up their reserved cassettes during the store's late afternoon weekend "rush hours".

Moreover, once it is loaded into the automatic videocassette dispensing terminal, the reserved cassette becomes available for 24-hour pick-up by the customer. Thus, the present invention for the first time allows a customer to choose a videocassette to be rented from the store's entire inventory, and pick up that cassette after the store has closed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

These and other objects and features of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the following description when taken in conjunction with the following drawings.

FIG. 1 is an overall block diagram of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is an illustration of the front face of the automated videocassette dispensing terminal which is preferably used in the system of the present invention;

FIG. 3 illustrates the automated videocassette dispensing terminal projecting through the front window of a video store in the preferred embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 4 is a block diagram of the system architecture including the main components of the present invention;

FIGS. 5A and 5B are a flow chart of the software which controls the automated renting sequence and service sequence of the videocassette dispensing terminal of the present invention; and

FIG. 6 is a flow chart of the reservation feature of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring first to FIG. 1, an overall system block diagram is shown in which a store's host computer 2 is coupled to a number of POS terminals 4 inside the store. POS terminals 4 are manned by clerks who enter customer identification information and videocassette identification information into computer 2 through terminals 4 each time a videocassette is rented.

In accordance with the present invention, an automated videocassette dispensing terminal 6 is also coupled to computer 2. As shown in FIG. 1, the automated terminal 6 preferably extends through the store structure so that is accessible from outside the store and can be used on a 24-hour basis by rental customers.

Referring now to FIG. 2, the automatic videocassette dispensing terminal 6 is shown projecting through the front window of a video store 11. Since the back of the machine sits inside the store, only the front face of the machine need be made weather-proof and resistant to vandalism and theft.

Advantageously, the machine is designed to be mounted onto and supported entirely by a 3/4 inch plywood panel which replaces an entire glass pane of the video store. Thus, installation of the machine is relatively simple and inexpensive, particularly as compared to ATM's which must be mounted into concrete or brick structures for security reasons.

A CRT screen 16, visible from the front panel of the automated terminal 6, displays the titles available for rent, and for which the customer's identification indicates that he or she is authorized to rent (some families will request restrictions that prevent rental of "R" or "X" rated films). The front panel of the automated terminal 6 also has a bar code reader or a magnetic stripe reader 18, through which the individual is instructed to slide his membership or credit card. As described in further detail later, the machine reads the information on the membership card and sends this information immediately to the store's computer for approval.

The CRT screen 16 is mounted in a holder which pivots or swivels so that the screen can either face toward the front of the terminal for customer use (as shown in FIG. 2) or toward the back of the machine (not shown) where it can be viewed by the store's clerk during service operations (described later). When CRT 16 faces toward the front of the terminal, it rests behind a touch screen 17, which the user touches at appropriate locations in accordance with instructions presented on screen 16 to highlight and select a cassette that he or she wishes to rent. Once the customer has identified a title he or she wishes to rent, and the automatic videocassette dispensing terminal 6 has received approval from the host computer 2, the appropriate videocassette is released from its race and falls into a drawer behind a delivery door 21, from which it may be removed by the customer.

The electronics of the automated videocassette dispensing terminal 6 are relatively simple because most of the data processing is done by the host computer 2. As shown in FIG. 4, the system architecture is controlled by a computer 22, which is preferably IBM PC/XT compatible, and is equipped with 640 Kb RAM, and dual 31/2 inch floppy disk drives. This computer controls both the RUN function and the SERVICE function, both of which are described in further detail below. Computer 22 sends the user data in its original raw form and videocassette's numeric code to host computer 2 over an RS-232 serial connection 23. Optionally, a Novell network interface 24 may be used for communication between the two computers. If the store's videocassette rental system includes a credit card verification procedure, verification will be done by computer 2.

Personal computer 22 is loaded with overall system software via floppy disk input 28. The clerk chooses from among the service function options (described below) through bar code 30. The instructions and menu for the SERVICE mode are displayed on CRT 16. When the store clerk adds or removes videocassettes from the inventory of the dispensing terminal 6, he or she wands the tapes in or out with bar code wand 34, which then sends the tape number to computer 22 which relays it to host computer 2. If a videocassette is being added, host computer 2 sends the title back to computer 22, and computer 22 files the information for future display. If a videocassette is removed, its title is deleted from the display file of computer 22. Printer 36 can be activated by keyboard 30 to print out service test results.

Computer 22 also controls the actual dispensing of videocassettes which are stored in dispensing races 38. In order to dispense a tape, computer 22 activates a specific solenoid driver 40 to release by gravity feed the appropriate cassette from dispensing races 38, from which it drops to delivery door 22 for retrieval by the customer.

As mentioned earlier, the front panel of the automated terminal 6 also includes a touch screen 17, and a card reader 18 to be used by the consumer in ordering desired videocassettes. No receipt is provided to the customer for rentals, and the automated videocassette dispensing terminal does not accept returns. Returns can be accepted either by a clerk at a POS terminal in the store or, after hours, through a drop slot. If the customer uses a drop slot, the return of the videocassette is registered by a clerk at a POS terminal 4 after the store opens the next day. Eliminating the automated return feature greatly simplifies the mechanics of the automated videocassette dispensing terminal, resulting in greater reliability and a reduction in cost. The procedure of encouraging returns in-person also gives the store better control over returns, allowing adjustments of overtime charges, etc. based upon particular circumstances. Moreover, inperson return gets the customer back into the store with its large display area, where he or she can be enticed to rent another videocassette.

The software which controls the above-described hardware will now be described, with reference to the software flow chart shown in FIGS. 5A and 5B. The software has two operating modes; the RUN MODE 50 for customer rentals and the SERVICE MODE 52 for all clerk functions. The software mode is controlled by a bar code wand 34 inside the rear access doors of the terminal. When the rear access doors of the automated videocassette dispensing terminal 6 are closed, the swipe reader 18 is activated and the service wand is deactivated. Conversely, when the doors are opened, a switch deactivates swipe reader 18 and activates the service wand.

The RUN MODE, illustrated in 5A, is directed to the CRT 16 in its outside display position. In the idle condition 56, the screen displays:

"TO RENT A TAPE, INSERT YOUR MEMBERSHIP CARD INTO THE CARD SLOT . . . THEN PULL DOWN AS SHOWN."

The software then waits for a card to be inserted at step 58. When a card is entered, the CRT screen 16, at step 60, displays an alphabetized listing of titles on-hand. Screen 16 can also display price or price category, and possibly MPAA rating ("R"; "PG"; etc.) and genre (comedy, western, sci-fi).

The software then waits at step 62 for the customer to enter the selected title via touch screen 17. After a RENT confirmation is touched by the customer, CRT 16, at step 64, displays:

"PLEASE ENTER YOUR PERSONAL IDENTIFICATION NUMBER."

The unit then again waits for the PIN number to be entered at step 66. If no PIN number is entered, the screen returns to the IDLE display. Once a PIN number has been entered (via touch screen 17), personal computer 22 sends a message to the host computer 2 with the member's identification number and the title code of the tape selected. (step 68). Computer 22 waits for a return signal, at step 70, to ensure that communication with host computer 2 has been established. If automated terminal 6 is unable to contact host 2, the tape is not dispensed and the screen displays, at step 72:

"WE ARE UNABLE TO CONTACT OUR HOST COMPUTER. THIS DISPENSER IS TEMPORARILY OUT OF ORDER".

The unit then enters a 15 second time-out and then switches to an out of order condition until communication with the host computer 2 is restored. In this out of order condition, the screen displays:

"TEMPORARILY OUT OF ORDER. SORRY FOR THE INCONVENIENCE. PLEASE TRY AGAIN LATER."

If communication with the host is successfully established, the unit waits to see if the transaction has been approved (i.e. if the membership number is authorized). If the host sends back a denial code, the tape is not dispensed and the CRT screen 16 displays, at step 76:

"YOUR RENTAL HAS NOT BEEN APPROVED. PLEASE CHECK WITH THE STORE MANAGER."

The unit then enters a 15 second time-out and returns to the idle screen 56. If the host computer 2 approves the transaction, the tape is dispensed at step 78, the door 21 is unlocked at step 79, CRT screen 16 displays a thank you message 80, the screen returns to idle display 56, and door 21 is locked again at step 81.

The SERVICE MODE, illustrated in FIG. 5B, is directed to CRT 16 (pivoted to its rearwardly facing position) and the bar code menu 30, both of which are accessed inside the rear doors of the unit. After the clerk wands in the SERVICE MODE, the initial screen is the clerk's menu 82, in which the CRT screen 16 displays:

"1. LOAD TAPES

2. REPORTS

3. DIAGNOSTICS

4. DISABLE BINS"

If the clerk selects #1 by wanding that bar code from bar code menu 30, the unit enters the load tapes mode 84 and CRT screen 16 displays:

"ENTER TAPE NUMBER"

The clerk, in step 86, enters the title code by wanding the bar code label on the first cassette to be loaded with bar code wand 34. The screen then displays, as step 88:

"LOAD TAPE INTO BIN XX ENTER NEXT TAPE NUMBER."

To prompt the store's clerk to the assigned bin for the particular cassette to be loaded, the machine also triggers the cassette release solenoid of that bin. Alternatively, an LED can be used to provide a visual identification of the correct bin.

After each title code has been entered, the unit sends the entered number to the host computer 2, and host 2 sends back the corresponding alpha title description. These alpha descriptions and their associated numeric codes are temporarily stored in the memory of personal computer 22 awaiting sorting.

The unit then waits, at step 90, for the wanding to be completed. When the clerk has finished loading the machine, he or she wands a bar code which terminates the LOAD TAPES function, adds the new title descriptions to the on-hand inventory file, and sorts the on-hand inventory file in alphabetical order at step 92.

If the clerk selects #2, the unit enters the report mode 94, and the screen displays

"SEND REPORT TO

#1 SCREEN

#2 PRINTER"

After the clerk has selected whether the output will be sent to CRT screen 16 or printer 36 at step 96, the selection screen displays:

"REPORTS

1. INVENTORY REPORT BY BIN LOCATION

2. INVENTORY REPORT BY TITLE DESCRIPTION"

Then at step 98, the clerk chooses which of these two reports to receive on the selected output device.

If the clerk selects #3 from menu display 82, the unit enters the diagnostics mode 100 and the screen displays the following types of diagnostics which can be conducted:

"DIAGNOSTICS

1. TEST CRT

2. TEST CARD READER

3. TEST BARCODE READER

4. TEST PRINTER

5. TEST TRIP LEVERS

6. TEST DOOR LOCK"

The clerk, at step 102, selects which of the above steps he or she will run, and the unit executes the appropriate test.

If the clerk selects #4 from the clerk's menu 82, the unit enters the disabled bins mode 104 and the screen displays:

"1. CLEAR INVENTORY

2. DISABLE/ENABLE SLOTS"

The clerk selects one of these options. If the CLEAR INVENTORY option is selected the screen displays:

"1. BY TITLE CODE

2. BY LOCATION RANGE"

If, on the other hand, the disable/enable slots is chosen, the screen displays:

"1. DISABLE SLOT(S)

2. ENABLE SLOT(S)"

The disabled slot routine is used to exclude a defective slot location until it is repaired. A disabled slot is not recognized by the software program. After a defective slot has been repaired, the slot must be enabled for future use.

It should be noted that all screens in the RUN MODE have a 30 second time-out and then return to the idle screen. Also, when the customer is entering his or her PIN number, he or she is given three chances to enter the correct number, and if all three entries are incorrect, the screen returns to the idle screen.

Obviously, the above-described software sequence is only intended to be exemplary, as many different types of screens and customer prompts can be displayed. For example, a preview feature could be added so that, after a customer selects a title but before rental confirmation, he or she can view a graphics representation of the videocassette box, possibly accompanied by audio.

The present invention also has a reservation feature in which the automated videocassette dispensing terminal holds a reserved cassette for customer pick-up. Referring to FIG. 6, a videocassette can be reserved by telephone either manually 110 or by modem communication 112 directly to the store's computer 2. In the first instance, the customer calls into the store, asks the clerk if a particular title is available and, if so, requests that it be reserved (step 114). To make the reservation, the customer gives the clerk his or her ID number. The clerk then removes the cassette box from the store's shelf and registers the cassette itself with the customer's ID in host computer 2 (step 116). (Host computer 2 deems the cassette to have been "rented" at this time as far as billing is concerned). Host computer 2 automatically assigns a particular bin in the automated videocassette dispensing terminal for the reserved cassette and, when the automated terminal is being loaded with cassettes, the CRT screen 8 (along a solenoid trigger or LED light) prompts the store's clerk to load the reserved cassette into the assigned bin (step 118).

When the customer arrives at the store and swipes his membership card into the terminal, host computer 2 recognizes that a cassette is being held for that customer, and the title of the reserved cassette is displayed on CRT 8 for rental confirmation (step 120). Once the reserved tape has been dispensed to the customer, the rental transaction is transmitted to host computer 2 for recordkeeping purposes (step 122).

If the customer prefers (or if the video store is closed), a videocassette can be reserved by modem communication directly with the store's computer 2. If the store is still open, the customer selects a desired title by its number from a catalog, and enters this number via the telephone touchpad (step 124). If the desired cassette is available in the store, it is reserved for the customer electronically and subsequently removed from inventory and loaded into the automatic videocassette dispensing terminal 6 by the store's clerk.

If the store is closed when modem reservation is attempted, the store's computer communicates to the customer which titles are available in automatic videocassette dispensing terminal 6, and the customer enters the associated number of the desired cassette as before (step 124). At this point, the designated cassette is reserved for the customer and removed from the terminal's screen display (step 126). Thus, other customers who walk up to the terminal cannot rent this title, and the customer with the reservation can rest assured that the cassette will be available when he or she arrives for pick-up (steps 120 and 122).

Accordingly, the present invention as described above provides a unique system which provides 24-hour operation for video stores, while maintaining centralized compilation of customer rental and inventory information in the store's existing computer. The system of the present invention advantageously provides many options not available with prior art systems. For example, customers can make reservations for videocassette rentals and, if the reserved cassette is not picked up in-person during the business day, it can be left in the automated videocassette dispensing terminal for pick up later that evening. Similarly, finished photoprints could be left for customer pickup after hours in the automated dispensing terminal of the present invention.

Although the present invention has been described in connection with a preferred embodiment thereof, many other variations and modifications will now become apparent to those skilled in the art without departing from the scope of the invention. For instance, the system of the present invention could be used for dispensing any type of product (e.g. videodisks) which is practical to dispense from an automated terminal, and for which it is desired to maintain a centralized record of both over-the-counter and automated transactions. It is preferred, therefore, that the present invention be limited not by the specific disclosure herein, but only by the appended claims.

Claims (4)

What is claimed is:
1. A method for reserving and dispensing rental videocassettes from a video store, comprising the steps of:
(a) having a customer communicate to the video store reservation information comprising customer identification information and product identification information for each videocassette to be reserved for rental;
(b) entering said reservation information into a host computer in a point of sale management system of the video store which compiles and stores said reservation information, as well as information relating to videocassette inventory and customer rentals, including time of rental and return of said rental videocassettes, said host computer communicating with:
(1) at least one manned point of sale terminal for renting and returning said videocassettes which communicates to said host computer said reservation information entered at a manned point of sale terminal by a store clerk when said customer communicates a desired videocassette reservation to said video store by telephone, and
(2) at least one automated videocassette dispensing terminal for renting videocassettes which operates in accordance with said reservation information which is centrally stored in said host computer;
(c) loading the reserved videocassette into said automated videocassette dispensing terminal which communicates with said host computer; and
(d) dispensing said reserved videocassettes from said videocassette dispensing terminal to respective customers for which they are reserved based upon customer identification information inputted to said videocassette dispensing terminal by said customers when they arrive to pick up their reserved videocassettes.
2. A method as recited in claim 1, wherein said customer communicates a desired videocassette reservation directly to said host computer via a modem, and said customer enters said rental information into said host computer.
3. A method as recited in claim 1, wherein, after the store is closed, said customer selects a videocassette to be reserved for rental based upon the titles available in said automated videocassette dispensing terminal, and the reserved videocassette is removed from the list of available titles displayed to subsequent customers making videocassette rental inquiries to said terminal.
4. A method for reserving and dispensing rental products from a rental establishment, comprising the steps of:
(a) having a customer communicate to the rental establishment reservation information comprising customer identification information and product identification information for each product to be reserved for rental;
(b) entering said reservation information into a host computer in a point of sale management system of the rental establishment which compiles and stores said reservation information, as well as information relating to product inventory and customer rentals, including time of rental and return of said rental products, said host computer communicating with:
(1) at least one manned point of sale terminal for renting and returning said rental products which operates in accordance with the reservation information which is centrally stored in said host computer, and
(2) at least one automated rental terminal for renting said reserved rental products which operates in accordance with said reservation information which is centrally stored in said host computer; and
(c) dispensing said reserved rental products from said automated rental terminal to the respective customers for which they are reserved based upon customer identification information inputted to said automated rental terminal by said customers when they arrive to pick up their reserved products.
US07293972 1988-08-03 1989-01-06 Automated videocassette dispensing terminal with reservation feature Expired - Fee Related US5095195A (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US07227618 US5013897A (en) 1988-08-03 1988-08-03 Automated videocassette dispensing terminal coupled to store's computerized rental system
US07293972 US5095195A (en) 1988-08-03 1989-01-06 Automated videocassette dispensing terminal with reservation feature

Applications Claiming Priority (3)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US07293972 US5095195A (en) 1988-08-03 1989-01-06 Automated videocassette dispensing terminal with reservation feature
EP19890810559 EP0358602A1 (en) 1988-08-03 1989-07-21 Automated videocassette dispensing terminal coupled to store's computerized rental system
JP20045389A JPH02255999A (en) 1988-08-03 1989-08-03 Device and method for renting video cassette, and article vending device

Related Parent Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US07227618 Continuation-In-Part US5013897A (en) 1988-08-03 1988-08-03 Automated videocassette dispensing terminal coupled to store's computerized rental system

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
US5095195A true US5095195A (en) 1992-03-10

Family

ID=26921603

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US07293972 Expired - Fee Related US5095195A (en) 1988-08-03 1989-01-06 Automated videocassette dispensing terminal with reservation feature

Country Status (3)

Country Link
US (1) US5095195A (en)
JP (1) JPH02255999A (en)
EP (1) EP0358602A1 (en)

Cited By (84)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
EP0600646A2 (en) 1992-11-20 1994-06-08 Pitney Bowes Inc. Secure document and method and apparatus for producing and authenticating same
US5339250A (en) * 1990-06-15 1994-08-16 Inn Room Systems, Inc. Interactive network for remotely controlled hotel vending systems
US5340966A (en) * 1990-10-23 1994-08-23 Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. Automatic facsimile-receiving-sheet recognizing apparatus
US5388165A (en) * 1989-05-01 1995-02-07 Credit Verification Corporation Method and system for building a database and performing marketing based upon prior shopping history
US5396417A (en) * 1991-11-01 1995-03-07 Capitol Cities/Abc, Inc. Product distribution equipment and method
US5430644A (en) 1989-05-01 1995-07-04 Credit Verification Corporation Check transaction processing, database building and marketing method and system utilizing automatic check reading
US5442163A (en) * 1993-06-29 1995-08-15 Nikon Corporation Exposure apparatus
US5459306A (en) * 1994-06-15 1995-10-17 Blockbuster Entertainment Corporation Method and system for delivering on demand, individually targeted promotions
US5473146A (en) * 1994-04-04 1995-12-05 At&T Global Information Solutions Company System and method for connecting product information with electronic shelf displays
US5638457A (en) * 1989-05-01 1997-06-10 Credit Verification Corporation Method and system for building a database for use with selective incentive marketing in response to customer shopping histories
US5644723A (en) * 1989-05-01 1997-07-01 Credit Verification Corporation Method and system for selective incentive point-of-sale marketing in response to customer shopping histories
US5761681A (en) * 1995-12-14 1998-06-02 Motorola, Inc. Method of substituting names in an electronic book
US5761682A (en) * 1995-12-14 1998-06-02 Motorola, Inc. Electronic book and method of capturing and storing a quote therein
US5815407A (en) * 1995-12-14 1998-09-29 Motorola Inc. Method and device for inhibiting the operation of an electronic device during take-off and landing of an aircraft
US5845259A (en) * 1996-06-27 1998-12-01 Electronic Consumer Concepts, L.L.C. Electronic coupon dispensing system
US5864822A (en) * 1996-06-25 1999-01-26 Baker, Iii; Bernard R. Benefits tracking and correlation system for use with third-party enabling organization
US5890136A (en) * 1997-03-12 1999-03-30 Kipp; Ludwig Quick stop mass retail system
US5893132A (en) * 1995-12-14 1999-04-06 Motorola, Inc. Method and system for encoding a book for reading using an electronic book
US5898594A (en) * 1996-06-24 1999-04-27 Leason; David Method and apparatus for enabling a selection of catalog items
US6237145B1 (en) 1995-06-06 2001-05-22 Infospace, Inc. System for accessing promotion information and for generating redeemable coupons therefrom
US6256615B1 (en) 1994-11-10 2001-07-03 Ncr Corporation Method of assigning electronic shelf labels to price lookup file items
US6292786B1 (en) 1992-05-19 2001-09-18 Incentech, Inc. Method and system for generating incentives based on substantially real-time product purchase information
US20020046122A1 (en) * 2000-05-25 2002-04-18 Barber William H. System and kiosk for commerce of optical media through multiple locations
US6424949B1 (en) 1989-05-01 2002-07-23 Catalina Marketing International, Inc. Method and system for selective incentive point-of-sale marketing in response to customer shopping histories
US20020147981A1 (en) * 2001-04-04 2002-10-10 Nec Corporation Commodity rental system and method
US20030014674A1 (en) * 2001-07-10 2003-01-16 Huffman James R. Method and electronic book for marking a page in a book
US6516302B1 (en) 1999-05-26 2003-02-04 Incentech, Inc. Method and system for accumulating marginal discounts and applying an associated incentive upon achieving one of a plurality of thresholds
US20040016620A1 (en) * 2002-06-28 2004-01-29 Davis Melanee A. Method for providing vendable items of entertainment
US20040064347A1 (en) * 2002-09-26 2004-04-01 Vanorman Stacy L. Movie rental and notification system
US20040153413A1 (en) * 2003-01-31 2004-08-05 Gross John N. Notification system and method for media Queue
US20040158503A1 (en) * 2003-01-31 2004-08-12 Gross John N. Media queue monitor
US20040158504A1 (en) * 2003-01-31 2004-08-12 Gross John N. Method of providing access to playable media
US20040162783A1 (en) * 2003-01-31 2004-08-19 Gross John N. Media queue replenisher
US20040172342A1 (en) * 2003-01-31 2004-09-02 Gross John N. System for providing access to playable media
US20040172275A1 (en) * 2003-01-31 2004-09-02 Gross John N. Media exchange system & method
US20040172274A1 (en) * 2003-01-31 2004-09-02 Gross John N. Media auto exchange system and method
US6788205B1 (en) 2002-08-30 2004-09-07 Ncr Corporation System and method for verifying surveillance tag deactivation in a self-checkout station
US6809645B1 (en) 2002-08-30 2004-10-26 Ncr Corporation System and method for updating a product database based on surveillance tag detection at a self-checkout station
US20040243570A1 (en) * 2003-05-28 2004-12-02 Gross John N. Method of testing inventory management/shipping systems
US20040243479A1 (en) * 2003-05-28 2004-12-02 Gross John N. Method of monitoring electronic commerce queue
US20040243480A1 (en) * 2003-05-28 2004-12-02 Gross John N. Method of controlling electronic commerce queue
US20040267669A1 (en) * 2003-06-25 2004-12-30 Gross John N. Method of processing rental requests and returns
US20050021175A1 (en) * 2000-09-06 2005-01-27 Bain Walter M. Automated prescription dispensing system and method of use
US20050021730A1 (en) * 2001-06-11 2005-01-27 Kanae Amemiya Termminal providing system
US20050021173A1 (en) * 2003-07-01 2005-01-27 Pinney Linda J. System and method for providing a random access and random load dispensing unit
US20050023286A1 (en) * 2003-07-01 2005-02-03 Asteres Inc. Random access and random load dispensing unit
US20050086127A1 (en) * 2000-04-28 2005-04-21 Hastings W. R. Approach for managing rental items across a plurality of distribution locations
US20050125307A1 (en) * 2000-04-28 2005-06-09 Hunt Neil D. Approach for estimating user ratings of items
US20050192705A1 (en) * 2003-07-01 2005-09-01 Asteres Inc. Random access and random load dispensing unit
US20050230410A1 (en) * 2004-04-15 2005-10-20 Delazzer Michael Article dispensing system and method for same
US20060010043A1 (en) * 2004-07-06 2006-01-12 Abramson Andrew F Method and apparatus for returning rentals
US20060015352A1 (en) * 2004-05-10 2006-01-19 Wynn Dominic C System and method for provisioning audiovisual works
US7024381B1 (en) 2000-04-28 2006-04-04 Netflix, Inc. Approach for renting items to customers
US20060212367A1 (en) * 2003-05-28 2006-09-21 Gross John N Method of selecting and distributing items to consumers of electronic media
US20060242269A1 (en) * 2004-05-28 2006-10-26 Gross John N Hybrid Distribution Method for Playable Media
US20060259192A1 (en) * 2005-04-22 2006-11-16 Lowe J M System and method for regulating vendible media products
US20060259262A1 (en) * 2004-04-15 2006-11-16 Franz Kuehnrich System and method for calibrating a vending apparatus
US20070083288A1 (en) * 2005-05-02 2007-04-12 Oppie Design As Minibar
US20070240631A1 (en) * 2006-04-14 2007-10-18 Applied Materials, Inc. Epitaxial growth of compound nitride semiconductor structures
US20070278297A1 (en) * 2006-06-05 2007-12-06 Shai Steven Robkin Systems and methods for the self-checkout of secured items from a lending establishment
US20080041871A1 (en) * 2004-04-15 2008-02-21 Red Box Automated Retail, Llc Article Dispensing System And Method for Same
US7403910B1 (en) 2000-04-28 2008-07-22 Netflix, Inc. Approach for estimating user ratings of items
US7444296B1 (en) 1999-05-25 2008-10-28 Dvdplay, Inc. Disk dispensing and retrieval system and associated methods
US20080269947A1 (en) * 2007-04-25 2008-10-30 Beane John A Automated Vending of Products Containing Controlled Substances
US20090259557A1 (en) * 2008-04-08 2009-10-15 Restaurant Technology, Inc. System and method for enhanced customer kiosk ordering
US20100017296A1 (en) * 2008-07-16 2010-01-21 Spignesi Jr Robert G Automated Dispensing System for Pharmaceuticals and Other Medical Items
US20100057871A1 (en) * 2005-04-22 2010-03-04 Redbox Automated Retail, Llc System and method for communicating secondary vending options
US20100312613A1 (en) * 2003-05-28 2010-12-09 Gross John N Method of evaluating learning rate of recommender systems
US20110047010A1 (en) * 2009-08-21 2011-02-24 Redbox Automated Retail, Llc Article vending machine and method for receiving restricted discount codes
US20110060456A1 (en) * 2009-09-05 2011-03-10 Redbox Automated Retail, Llc Article vending machine and method for exchanging an inoperable article for an operable article
US8538581B2 (en) 2010-09-03 2013-09-17 Redbox Automated Retail, Llc Article vending machine and method for authenticating received articles
US8609645B2 (en) 2004-08-13 2013-12-17 Intervet Inc. Pharmaceutical formulation
US8700458B2 (en) 1989-05-01 2014-04-15 Catalina Marketing Corporation System, method, and database for processing transactions
US8712836B2 (en) 1999-07-15 2014-04-29 Midnight Blue Remote Access Llc Point-of-sale server and method
US8712872B2 (en) 2012-03-07 2014-04-29 Redbox Automated Retail, Llc System and method for optimizing utilization of inventory space for dispensable articles
US8768789B2 (en) 2012-03-07 2014-07-01 Redbox Automated Retail, Llc System and method for optimizing utilization of inventory space for dispensable articles
US9104990B2 (en) 2009-09-05 2015-08-11 Redbox Automated Retail, Llc Article vending machine and method for exchanging an inoperable article for an operable article
US9224137B1 (en) 2005-03-01 2015-12-29 Redbox Automated Retail, Llc System for an automated dispensing and retrieval kiosk for recorded media
US9286617B2 (en) 2011-08-12 2016-03-15 Redbox Automated Retail, Llc System and method for applying parental control limits from content providers to media content
US9348822B2 (en) 2011-08-02 2016-05-24 Redbox Automated Retail, Llc System and method for generating notifications related to new media
US9495465B2 (en) 2011-07-20 2016-11-15 Redbox Automated Retail, Llc System and method for providing the identification of geographically closest article dispensing machines
US9569911B2 (en) 2010-08-23 2017-02-14 Redbox Automated Retail, Llc Secondary media return system and method
US9747253B2 (en) 2012-06-05 2017-08-29 Redbox Automated Retail, Llc System and method for simultaneous article retrieval and transaction validation
US9785996B2 (en) 2011-06-14 2017-10-10 Redbox Automated Retail, Llc System and method for substituting a media article with alternative media

Families Citing this family (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
FR2724478B1 (en) * 1994-08-01 1996-12-27 Jean Pierre Trielli ATM products intended for sale or rent operating 24h / 24h pilot by a computer and computer-searchable (modem)
WO1998025240A3 (en) * 1996-12-06 1998-07-23 Arturo Lesca Apparatus for automatically dispensing food products, specifically bakery products

Citations (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4141078A (en) * 1975-10-14 1979-02-20 Innovated Systems, Inc. Library circulation control system
US4812629A (en) * 1985-03-06 1989-03-14 Term-Tronics, Incorporated Method and apparatus for vending
US4858743A (en) * 1987-07-31 1989-08-22 Datavend, Inc. Vending machine and method for automatic vending and returning of merchandise, particularly video cassette tapes
US4866661A (en) * 1986-03-26 1989-09-12 Prins Maurits L De Computer controlled rental and sale system and method for a supermarket and the like

Family Cites Families (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
CA1218439A (en) * 1983-07-18 1987-02-24 Robert J. Spooner Self-contained cassette vending machine
EP0159359A4 (en) * 1983-10-14 1987-09-02 Avicom International Inc Credit card activated vending machine for battery powered rental items.
FR2563985A1 (en) * 1984-05-14 1985-11-15 Gille Pierre Automatic cassette dispensing device, in particular for video cassettes
WO1988006771A1 (en) * 1987-02-27 1988-09-07 Shah Dinesh V Automated rental system

Patent Citations (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4141078A (en) * 1975-10-14 1979-02-20 Innovated Systems, Inc. Library circulation control system
US4812629A (en) * 1985-03-06 1989-03-14 Term-Tronics, Incorporated Method and apparatus for vending
US4866661A (en) * 1986-03-26 1989-09-12 Prins Maurits L De Computer controlled rental and sale system and method for a supermarket and the like
US4858743A (en) * 1987-07-31 1989-08-22 Datavend, Inc. Vending machine and method for automatic vending and returning of merchandise, particularly video cassette tapes

Cited By (179)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5638457A (en) * 1989-05-01 1997-06-10 Credit Verification Corporation Method and system for building a database for use with selective incentive marketing in response to customer shopping histories
US6377935B1 (en) 1989-05-01 2002-04-23 Catalina Marketing International, Inc. Method and system for selective incentive point-of-sale marketing in response to customer shopping histories
US5675662A (en) * 1989-05-01 1997-10-07 Credit Verification Corporation Method and system for building a database for use with selective incentive marketing in response to customer shopping histories
US5388165A (en) * 1989-05-01 1995-02-07 Credit Verification Corporation Method and system for building a database and performing marketing based upon prior shopping history
US5659469A (en) 1989-05-01 1997-08-19 Credit Verification Corporation Check transaction processing, database building and marketing method and system utilizing automatic check reading
US5430644A (en) 1989-05-01 1995-07-04 Credit Verification Corporation Check transaction processing, database building and marketing method and system utilizing automatic check reading
US5644723A (en) * 1989-05-01 1997-07-01 Credit Verification Corporation Method and system for selective incentive point-of-sale marketing in response to customer shopping histories
US5448471A (en) * 1989-05-01 1995-09-05 Credit Verification Corporation Check transaction processing, database building and marketing method and system utilizing automatic check reading
US8700458B2 (en) 1989-05-01 2014-04-15 Catalina Marketing Corporation System, method, and database for processing transactions
US6424949B1 (en) 1989-05-01 2002-07-23 Catalina Marketing International, Inc. Method and system for selective incentive point-of-sale marketing in response to customer shopping histories
US5592560A (en) * 1989-05-01 1997-01-07 Credit Verification Corporation Method and system for building a database and performing marketing based upon prior shopping history
US6307958B1 (en) 1989-05-01 2001-10-23 Catalina Marketing International, Inc. Method and system for building a database for use with selective incentive marketing in response to customer shopping histories
US6351735B1 (en) 1989-05-01 2002-02-26 Catalina Marketing International, Inc. Check transaction processing, database building and marketing method and system utilizing automatic check reading
US5339250A (en) * 1990-06-15 1994-08-16 Inn Room Systems, Inc. Interactive network for remotely controlled hotel vending systems
US5340966A (en) * 1990-10-23 1994-08-23 Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. Automatic facsimile-receiving-sheet recognizing apparatus
US5396417A (en) * 1991-11-01 1995-03-07 Capitol Cities/Abc, Inc. Product distribution equipment and method
US6292786B1 (en) 1992-05-19 2001-09-18 Incentech, Inc. Method and system for generating incentives based on substantially real-time product purchase information
EP0600646B2 (en) 1992-11-20 2004-04-28 Pitney Bowes Inc. Method and apparatus for producing and authenticating a secure document
EP0600646A2 (en) 1992-11-20 1994-06-08 Pitney Bowes Inc. Secure document and method and apparatus for producing and authenticating same
US5442163A (en) * 1993-06-29 1995-08-15 Nikon Corporation Exposure apparatus
US5473146A (en) * 1994-04-04 1995-12-05 At&T Global Information Solutions Company System and method for connecting product information with electronic shelf displays
US5459306A (en) * 1994-06-15 1995-10-17 Blockbuster Entertainment Corporation Method and system for delivering on demand, individually targeted promotions
US6256615B1 (en) 1994-11-10 2001-07-03 Ncr Corporation Method of assigning electronic shelf labels to price lookup file items
US6237145B1 (en) 1995-06-06 2001-05-22 Infospace, Inc. System for accessing promotion information and for generating redeemable coupons therefrom
US5893132A (en) * 1995-12-14 1999-04-06 Motorola, Inc. Method and system for encoding a book for reading using an electronic book
US5761682A (en) * 1995-12-14 1998-06-02 Motorola, Inc. Electronic book and method of capturing and storing a quote therein
US5815407A (en) * 1995-12-14 1998-09-29 Motorola Inc. Method and device for inhibiting the operation of an electronic device during take-off and landing of an aircraft
US5761681A (en) * 1995-12-14 1998-06-02 Motorola, Inc. Method of substituting names in an electronic book
US5898594A (en) * 1996-06-24 1999-04-27 Leason; David Method and apparatus for enabling a selection of catalog items
US6266648B1 (en) 1996-06-25 2001-07-24 Baker, Iii Bernard R. Benefits tracking and correlation system for use with third-party enabling organizations
US5864822A (en) * 1996-06-25 1999-01-26 Baker, Iii; Bernard R. Benefits tracking and correlation system for use with third-party enabling organization
US5845259A (en) * 1996-06-27 1998-12-01 Electronic Consumer Concepts, L.L.C. Electronic coupon dispensing system
US5890136A (en) * 1997-03-12 1999-03-30 Kipp; Ludwig Quick stop mass retail system
US7444296B1 (en) 1999-05-25 2008-10-28 Dvdplay, Inc. Disk dispensing and retrieval system and associated methods
US20090048932A1 (en) * 1999-05-25 2009-02-19 Barber William H Disk Dispensing And Retrieval System And Associated Methods
US8639578B2 (en) 1999-05-25 2014-01-28 Redbox Automated Retail, Llc Disk dispensing and retrieval system and associated methods
US6609104B1 (en) 1999-05-26 2003-08-19 Incentech, Inc. Method and system for accumulating marginal discounts and applying an associated incentive
US6516302B1 (en) 1999-05-26 2003-02-04 Incentech, Inc. Method and system for accumulating marginal discounts and applying an associated incentive upon achieving one of a plurality of thresholds
USRE45006E1 (en) 1999-05-26 2014-07-08 Midnight Blue Remote Access Llc Method and system for accumulating marginal discounts and applying an associated incentive upon achieving threshold
US6611811B1 (en) 1999-05-26 2003-08-26 Incentech, Inc. Method and system for accumulating marginal discounts and applying an associated incentive upon achieving threshold
US8712836B2 (en) 1999-07-15 2014-04-29 Midnight Blue Remote Access Llc Point-of-sale server and method
US20050086127A1 (en) * 2000-04-28 2005-04-21 Hastings W. R. Approach for managing rental items across a plurality of distribution locations
US7546252B2 (en) 2000-04-28 2009-06-09 Netflix, Inc. Approach for managing rental items across a plurality of distribution locations
US7403910B1 (en) 2000-04-28 2008-07-22 Netflix, Inc. Approach for estimating user ratings of items
US20050125307A1 (en) * 2000-04-28 2005-06-09 Hunt Neil D. Approach for estimating user ratings of items
US7024381B1 (en) 2000-04-28 2006-04-04 Netflix, Inc. Approach for renting items to customers
US7617127B2 (en) 2000-04-28 2009-11-10 Netflix, Inc. Approach for estimating user ratings of items
US7774233B2 (en) 2000-05-25 2010-08-10 Ncr Corporation System and kiosk for commerce of optical media through multiple locations
US20070051802A1 (en) * 2000-05-25 2007-03-08 Barber William H System and kiosk for commerce of optical media through multiple locations
US20020046122A1 (en) * 2000-05-25 2002-04-18 Barber William H. System and kiosk for commerce of optical media through multiple locations
US8930240B2 (en) 2000-05-25 2015-01-06 Redbox Automated Retail, Llc System and kiosk for commerce of optical media through multiple locations
US8626614B2 (en) 2000-05-25 2014-01-07 Redbox Automated Retail, Llc System and kiosk for commerce of optical media through multiple locations
US20100325001A1 (en) * 2000-05-25 2010-12-23 Ncr Corporation System and kiosk for commerce of optical media through multiple locations
US20070050266A1 (en) * 2000-05-25 2007-03-01 Barber William H System and kiosk for commerce of optical media through multiple locations
US20070185614A1 (en) * 2000-09-06 2007-08-09 Bain Walter M Automated prescription dispensing system and method of use
US20050021175A1 (en) * 2000-09-06 2005-01-27 Bain Walter M. Automated prescription dispensing system and method of use
US20060265102A1 (en) * 2000-09-06 2006-11-23 Bain Walter M Automated prescription dispensing system and method of use
US20020147981A1 (en) * 2001-04-04 2002-10-10 Nec Corporation Commodity rental system and method
US20050021730A1 (en) * 2001-06-11 2005-01-27 Kanae Amemiya Termminal providing system
US7216799B2 (en) * 2001-06-11 2007-05-15 Ricoh Company, Ltd. Terminal providing system
US20030014674A1 (en) * 2001-07-10 2003-01-16 Huffman James R. Method and electronic book for marking a page in a book
US20040016620A1 (en) * 2002-06-28 2004-01-29 Davis Melanee A. Method for providing vendable items of entertainment
US6788205B1 (en) 2002-08-30 2004-09-07 Ncr Corporation System and method for verifying surveillance tag deactivation in a self-checkout station
US6809645B1 (en) 2002-08-30 2004-10-26 Ncr Corporation System and method for updating a product database based on surveillance tag detection at a self-checkout station
US20040064347A1 (en) * 2002-09-26 2004-04-01 Vanorman Stacy L. Movie rental and notification system
US7085727B2 (en) 2002-09-26 2006-08-01 Vanorman Stacy L Movie rental and notification system
US20040158504A1 (en) * 2003-01-31 2004-08-12 Gross John N. Method of providing access to playable media
US20060155575A1 (en) * 2003-01-31 2006-07-13 Gross John N Media delivery prioritization system and method
US20060241967A1 (en) * 2003-01-31 2006-10-26 Gross John N Playable Media Delivery Capacity Exchange Method
US20040153413A1 (en) * 2003-01-31 2004-08-05 Gross John N. Notification system and method for media Queue
US20040162783A1 (en) * 2003-01-31 2004-08-19 Gross John N. Media queue replenisher
US8606717B2 (en) 2003-01-31 2013-12-10 Media Queue, Llc Playable media delivery capacity exchange method
US20040172274A1 (en) * 2003-01-31 2004-09-02 Gross John N. Media auto exchange system and method
US8700538B2 (en) 2003-01-31 2014-04-15 Media Queue, Llc Media exchange system and method
US8688462B2 (en) 2003-01-31 2014-04-01 Media Queue, Llc Media auto exchange system and method
US20040158503A1 (en) * 2003-01-31 2004-08-12 Gross John N. Media queue monitor
US20040172275A1 (en) * 2003-01-31 2004-09-02 Gross John N. Media exchange system & method
US20080249843A1 (en) * 2003-01-31 2008-10-09 Gross John N Notification System and Method for Multiple Media Queues
US8712867B2 (en) 2003-01-31 2014-04-29 Media Queue, Llc System for providing access to playable media
US20040172342A1 (en) * 2003-01-31 2004-09-02 Gross John N. System for providing access to playable media
US7685028B2 (en) 2003-05-28 2010-03-23 Gross John N Method of testing inventory management/shipping systems
US20100191663A1 (en) * 2003-05-28 2010-07-29 Gross John N Method of testing item availability and delivery performance of an e-commerce site
US20040243570A1 (en) * 2003-05-28 2004-12-02 Gross John N. Method of testing inventory management/shipping systems
US20040243479A1 (en) * 2003-05-28 2004-12-02 Gross John N. Method of monitoring electronic commerce queue
US20040243480A1 (en) * 2003-05-28 2004-12-02 Gross John N. Method of controlling electronic commerce queue
US8433622B2 (en) 2003-05-28 2013-04-30 Media Queue, Llc Method of controlling electronic commerce queue
US8249955B2 (en) 2003-05-28 2012-08-21 John Nicholas Gross Method of testing item availability and delivery performance of an e-commerce site
US20060212367A1 (en) * 2003-05-28 2006-09-21 Gross John N Method of selecting and distributing items to consumers of electronic media
US20100312613A1 (en) * 2003-05-28 2010-12-09 Gross John N Method of evaluating learning rate of recommender systems
US8738541B2 (en) 2003-06-25 2014-05-27 Media Queue, Llc Method of processing rental requests and returns
US20040267669A1 (en) * 2003-06-25 2004-12-30 Gross John N. Method of processing rental requests and returns
US9105142B2 (en) 2003-07-01 2015-08-11 Asteres, Inc. Random access and random load dispensing unit
US8000836B2 (en) 2003-07-01 2011-08-16 Asteres, Inc. Random access and random load dispensing unit
US20110137455A1 (en) * 2003-07-01 2011-06-09 Pinney Linda J Random Access and Random Load Dispensing Unit
US20110046778A1 (en) * 2003-07-01 2011-02-24 Asteres, Inc. Method of conducting a sales transaction using a random access and random load dispensing unit
US7857161B2 (en) 2003-07-01 2010-12-28 Asteres, Inc. Random access and random load dispensing unit
US20070010910A1 (en) * 2003-07-01 2007-01-11 Pinney Linda J Random access and random load dispensing unit
US8521327B2 (en) 2003-07-01 2013-08-27 Asteres, Inc. Random access and random load dispensing unit
US20050192705A1 (en) * 2003-07-01 2005-09-01 Asteres Inc. Random access and random load dispensing unit
US20050023286A1 (en) * 2003-07-01 2005-02-03 Asteres Inc. Random access and random load dispensing unit
US20100268377A1 (en) * 2003-07-01 2010-10-21 Asteres, Inc. Random access and random load dispensing unit
US7787986B2 (en) 2003-07-01 2010-08-31 Asteres, Inc. Communication network for use in automatically delivering prescriptions
US7783378B2 (en) 2003-07-01 2010-08-24 Asteres, Inc. Method of conducting a sales transaction using a random access and random load dispensing unit
US20050021173A1 (en) * 2003-07-01 2005-01-27 Pinney Linda J. System and method for providing a random access and random load dispensing unit
US8195329B2 (en) 2003-07-01 2012-06-05 Asteres, Inc. Method of conducting a sales transaction using a random access and random load dispensing unit
US7123989B2 (en) 2003-07-01 2006-10-17 Asteres, Inc. System and method for providing a random access and random load dispensing unit
US7234609B2 (en) 2004-04-15 2007-06-26 Redbox Automated Retail, L.L.C. Article dispensing system and method for same
US9558316B2 (en) 2004-04-15 2017-01-31 Redbox Automated Retail, Llc System and method for vending vendible media products
US20050230410A1 (en) * 2004-04-15 2005-10-20 Delazzer Michael Article dispensing system and method for same
US7447605B2 (en) 2004-04-15 2008-11-04 Redbox Automated Retail, Llc System and method for calibrating a vending apparatus
US9524368B2 (en) 2004-04-15 2016-12-20 Redbox Automated Retail, Llc System and method for communicating vending information
US20080041871A1 (en) * 2004-04-15 2008-02-21 Red Box Automated Retail, Llc Article Dispensing System And Method for Same
US7584869B2 (en) 2004-04-15 2009-09-08 Redbox Automated Retail, Llc Article dispensing system and method for same
US20060259262A1 (en) * 2004-04-15 2006-11-16 Franz Kuehnrich System and method for calibrating a vending apparatus
US7787987B2 (en) 2004-04-15 2010-08-31 Redbox Automated Retail, Llc System and method for communicating vending information
US9865003B2 (en) 2004-04-15 2018-01-09 Redbox Automated Retail, Llc System and method for vending vendible media products
US20060015352A1 (en) * 2004-05-10 2006-01-19 Wynn Dominic C System and method for provisioning audiovisual works
US8346673B2 (en) 2004-05-10 2013-01-01 Blockbuster L.L.C. System and method for provisioning audiovisual works
US8612311B2 (en) 2004-05-28 2013-12-17 Media Queue, Llc Hybrid distribution method for playable media
US20060242269A1 (en) * 2004-05-28 2006-10-26 Gross John N Hybrid Distribution Method for Playable Media
US20060010043A1 (en) * 2004-07-06 2006-01-12 Abramson Andrew F Method and apparatus for returning rentals
US8609645B2 (en) 2004-08-13 2013-12-17 Intervet Inc. Pharmaceutical formulation
US9542674B2 (en) 2005-03-01 2017-01-10 Redbox Automated Retail, Llc System for an automated dispensing and retrieval kiosk for recorded media
US9224137B1 (en) 2005-03-01 2015-12-29 Redbox Automated Retail, Llc System for an automated dispensing and retrieval kiosk for recorded media
US20060259191A1 (en) * 2005-04-22 2006-11-16 Lowe J M System and method for vending vendible media products
US7853354B2 (en) 2005-04-22 2010-12-14 Redbox Automated Retail, Llc System and method for communicating vending information
US20100057871A1 (en) * 2005-04-22 2010-03-04 Redbox Automated Retail, Llc System and method for communicating secondary vending options
US20100312380A1 (en) * 2005-04-22 2010-12-09 Redbox Automated Retail, Llc System and method for regulating vendible media products
US7499768B2 (en) 2005-04-22 2009-03-03 Redbox Automated Retail, Llc System and method for offline vending of a media product
US20110145033A1 (en) * 2005-04-22 2011-06-16 Redbox Automated Retail, Llc System and Method for Communicating Vending Information
US7988049B2 (en) 2005-04-22 2011-08-02 Redbox Automated Retail, Llc System and method for calibrating a vending apparatus
US20060259192A1 (en) * 2005-04-22 2006-11-16 Lowe J M System and method for regulating vendible media products
US8060247B2 (en) 2005-04-22 2011-11-15 Redbox Automated Retail, Llc System and method for communicating secondary vending options
US8155784B2 (en) 2005-04-22 2012-04-10 Redbox Automated Retail, Llc System and method for regulating vendible media products
US20090005904A1 (en) * 2005-04-22 2009-01-01 Redbox Automated Retail, Llc System and method for communicating vending information
US7366586B2 (en) 2005-04-22 2008-04-29 Redbox Automated Retail Llc. System and method for communicating vending information
US7797077B2 (en) 2005-04-22 2010-09-14 Redbox Automated Retail, Llc System and method for managing vending inventory
US7747346B2 (en) 2005-04-22 2010-06-29 Redbox Automated Retail, Llc System and method for regulating vendible media products
US8412374B2 (en) 2005-04-22 2013-04-02 Redbox Automated Retail, Llc System and method for communicating vending information
US8417380B2 (en) 2005-04-22 2013-04-09 Redbox Automated Retail, Llc System and method for communicating vending information
US20060259190A1 (en) * 2005-04-22 2006-11-16 Tim Hale System and method for managing vending inventory
US20060260875A1 (en) * 2005-04-22 2006-11-23 Eric Hoersten System and method for communicating vending information
US20060254862A1 (en) * 2005-04-22 2006-11-16 Eric Hoersten System and method for selling a rental media product
US20090018792A1 (en) * 2005-04-22 2009-01-15 Redbox Automated Retail, Llc System and method for calibrating a vending apparatus
US20080234859A1 (en) * 2005-05-02 2008-09-25 Oppie Design As Minibar
US20070083288A1 (en) * 2005-05-02 2007-04-12 Oppie Design As Minibar
US20070240631A1 (en) * 2006-04-14 2007-10-18 Applied Materials, Inc. Epitaxial growth of compound nitride semiconductor structures
US7461784B2 (en) * 2006-06-05 2008-12-09 Vernon Library Supplies, Inc. Systems and methods for the self-checkout of secured items from a lending establishment
US20070278297A1 (en) * 2006-06-05 2007-12-06 Shai Steven Robkin Systems and methods for the self-checkout of secured items from a lending establishment
US20110047043A1 (en) * 2007-04-25 2011-02-24 Asteres, Inc. Automated vending of products containing controlled substances
US7783379B2 (en) 2007-04-25 2010-08-24 Asteres, Inc. Automated vending of products containing controlled substances
US20080269947A1 (en) * 2007-04-25 2008-10-30 Beane John A Automated Vending of Products Containing Controlled Substances
US8190291B2 (en) 2007-04-25 2012-05-29 Asteres, Inc. Automated vending of products containing controlled substances
US20090259554A1 (en) * 2008-04-08 2009-10-15 Restaurant Technology, Inc. System and method for enhanced customer kiosk ordering
US20090259558A1 (en) * 2008-04-08 2009-10-15 Restaurant Technology, Inc. System and method for enhanced customer kiosk ordering
US20090259559A1 (en) * 2008-04-08 2009-10-15 Restaurant Technology, Inc. System and method for enhanced customer kiosk ordering
US20090259557A1 (en) * 2008-04-08 2009-10-15 Restaurant Technology, Inc. System and method for enhanced customer kiosk ordering
US20090265247A1 (en) * 2008-04-08 2009-10-22 Restaurant Technology, Inc. System and method for enhanced customer kiosk ordering
US20100017296A1 (en) * 2008-07-16 2010-01-21 Spignesi Jr Robert G Automated Dispensing System for Pharmaceuticals and Other Medical Items
US9280863B2 (en) 2008-07-16 2016-03-08 Parata Systems, Llc Automated dispensing system for pharmaceuticals and other medical items
US20110047010A1 (en) * 2009-08-21 2011-02-24 Redbox Automated Retail, Llc Article vending machine and method for receiving restricted discount codes
US9489691B2 (en) 2009-09-05 2016-11-08 Redbox Automated Retail, Llc Article vending machine and method for exchanging an inoperable article for an operable article
US9830583B2 (en) 2009-09-05 2017-11-28 Redbox Automated Retail, Llc Article vending machine and method for exchanging an inoperable article for an operable article
US9104990B2 (en) 2009-09-05 2015-08-11 Redbox Automated Retail, Llc Article vending machine and method for exchanging an inoperable article for an operable article
US20110060456A1 (en) * 2009-09-05 2011-03-10 Redbox Automated Retail, Llc Article vending machine and method for exchanging an inoperable article for an operable article
US8996162B2 (en) 2009-09-05 2015-03-31 Redbox Automated Retail, Llc Article vending machine and method for exchanging an inoperable article for an operable article
US9542661B2 (en) 2009-09-05 2017-01-10 Redbox Automated Retail, Llc Article vending machine and method for exchanging an inoperable article for an operable article
US9582954B2 (en) 2010-08-23 2017-02-28 Redbox Automated Retail, Llc Article vending machine and method for authenticating received articles
US9569911B2 (en) 2010-08-23 2017-02-14 Redbox Automated Retail, Llc Secondary media return system and method
US8538581B2 (en) 2010-09-03 2013-09-17 Redbox Automated Retail, Llc Article vending machine and method for authenticating received articles
US9785996B2 (en) 2011-06-14 2017-10-10 Redbox Automated Retail, Llc System and method for substituting a media article with alternative media
US9495465B2 (en) 2011-07-20 2016-11-15 Redbox Automated Retail, Llc System and method for providing the identification of geographically closest article dispensing machines
US9348822B2 (en) 2011-08-02 2016-05-24 Redbox Automated Retail, Llc System and method for generating notifications related to new media
US9615134B2 (en) 2011-08-12 2017-04-04 Redbox Automated Retail, Llc System and method for applying parental control limits from content providers to media content
US9286617B2 (en) 2011-08-12 2016-03-15 Redbox Automated Retail, Llc System and method for applying parental control limits from content providers to media content
US8712872B2 (en) 2012-03-07 2014-04-29 Redbox Automated Retail, Llc System and method for optimizing utilization of inventory space for dispensable articles
US9390577B2 (en) 2012-03-07 2016-07-12 Redbox Automated Retail, Llc System and method for optimizing utilization of inventory space for dispensable articles
US8768789B2 (en) 2012-03-07 2014-07-01 Redbox Automated Retail, Llc System and method for optimizing utilization of inventory space for dispensable articles
US9747253B2 (en) 2012-06-05 2017-08-29 Redbox Automated Retail, Llc System and method for simultaneous article retrieval and transaction validation

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date Type
JPH02255999A (en) 1990-10-16 application
EP0358602A1 (en) 1990-03-14 application

Similar Documents

Publication Publication Date Title
US5088586A (en) Automatic renting apparatus
US8131595B2 (en) Products and processes for a membership for a customer of a vending machine
US6655580B1 (en) System and method for renting or purchasing digital media
US6606602B1 (en) Vending machine control system having access to the internet for the purposes of transacting e-mail, e-commerce, and e-business, and for conducting vending transactions
US7389916B2 (en) Method and apparatus for controlling rented or leased or loaned equipment
US5020958A (en) Article vending machine
US5139384A (en) Article vending machine
US6529880B1 (en) Automatic payment system for a plurality of remote merchants
US6056194A (en) System and method for networking and controlling vending machines
US6712266B2 (en) Network transaction and cash-accepting add-value station
US6109524A (en) Automatic commodity handling apparatus utilizing IC card
US4752876A (en) Self service terminal for lodging industry including room key dispenser
US20020082994A1 (en) Method and apparatus for managing automated banking machines
US7347368B1 (en) Method of enrolling in an electronic toll or payment collection system
US4778983A (en) Automatic vending machine
US4839505A (en) Apparatus and method for storing and retrieving articles
US5971273A (en) Automated florist system allowing direct contact with delivering florist
US7234609B2 (en) Article dispensing system and method for same
US5353219A (en) Suggestive selling in a customer self-ordering system
US7584869B2 (en) Article dispensing system and method for same
US20020133409A1 (en) Transaction history system and method
US20060175396A1 (en) Systems and methods for managing and using prepaid purchasing accounts
US6366220B1 (en) RF tag based system and method for drive-through applications
US20050096936A1 (en) System for distributing and vending data
US7774233B2 (en) System and kiosk for commerce of optical media through multiple locations

Legal Events

Date Code Title Description
AS Assignment

Owner name: THRU-THE WALL CORPORATION, CONNECTICUT

Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNORS:HARMAN, ROBERT R.;JOSLYN, BRUCE C.;REEL/FRAME:005153/0912

Effective date: 19890105

REMI Maintenance fee reminder mailed
LAPS Lapse for failure to pay maintenance fees
FP Expired due to failure to pay maintenance fee

Effective date: 19960313